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By Eliza Keck 20 April 2022 5 min read

After a competitive process, CSIRO has found it's first 12 Next Generation AI and Emerging Technologies Graduates Programs. $10.4 million from CSIRO ‘s Next Generation programs will be combined with $5.8 million from industry and university partners to co-fund 165 student scholarships.

Students will work in multidisciplinary groups with industry and research leaders to solve real-world challenges. What will those challenges be? Read on and find out.

The Offramps project: Finishing school well

Social disadvantage creates substantial and challenging problems for young people. This program aims to provide an off-ramp to social disadvantage by growing a world-class cohort of graduates. These graduates will combine innovative Artificial Intelligence (AI) methods with individual case-based research to rapidly learn the causal pathways which help young people finish school well.

The program will draw the community of data science and domain science researchers together with government bodies to address the substantial and challenging problems posed by social disadvantage in the context of education.

AI-enabled advanced materials technology

This program will contribute to a critical and timely upskill in Australia's capability in applied AI for Advanced Manufacturing. The development of materials technologies is critical in meeting rapidly emerging requirements and sovereign societal needs.

The program will train a PhD cohort, with supervision and industry partnership in two core areas: Machine Learning (ML) and Computer Vision (CV). Research students will participate in industry-led research projects and placements to build job-ready skills.

Empowering humans within the metaverse

The metaverse typically represents a network of virtual environments with large-scaled spatial data, within which human entities are often represented with virtual avatars. But it could be so much more.

There’s an opportunity to enable Australian industry sectors to enhance their physical operations through metaverse techniques and technologies and boost Australia’s digital economy. The objective of this program is to empower human performance, capabilities, and safety within the metaverse, to seamlessly facilitate communication and cross interactions between digital and physical entities.

Trusted automation for industrial Internet of Things

Adopting emerging technologies such as ML, the internet of things, AI and blockchain could significantly increase Australian companies' productivity and competitiveness. Several industries are already looking to transform their industry by recruiting skilled professionals. However, the skill shortage in these domains impedes the transformation process, impacting innovation, transformation, and growth. This program will train the next generation of graduates in trusted automation for industrial Internet of Things through a close partnership between industry and academia.

AI in mental health

Almost half of Australians will experience mental ill health at some point in their lives, but the majority will not go on to seek professional help due to barriers such as stigma, cost and availability. Most mental health problems are present and established between the ages of 14-24, highlighting the importance of early detection and intervention.

There are significant opportunities for AI to help in this domain, from facilitating data supported decision making in hospitals through to enabling self-directed intervention via everyday technologies. A cross-disciplinary cohort will explore innovative approaches towards AI driven methods and solutions, driven by real-world industry priorities.

Building national cybersecurity capabilities for digital transformation in manufacturing

The US Colonial Pipeline hacking and Mondelez’s $100M ransomware loss highlight how digital transformation brings risks and challenges as well as growth and opportunities.

This program will bring together a multi-disciplinary team to train the next generation of graduate students as a cohort within industry from the outset. Together, they will address the real-life cybersecurity challenges faced by Australian manufacturers and build sovereign cyber capabilities to secure business-critical manufacturing systems.

Digital engineering for Device-on-Demand

Digital engineering can forge a future defence force that continually innovates and quickly adjust to a rapidly evolving technology and threat landscape. This program will demonstrate the benefits of an innovating and adaptable force by designing, building, and flight-testing various on-demand small unmanned aerial systems, each optimised for a different mission and then roll out to a broad set of end-users and provide training. We will extract and disseminate lessons learned on various aspects of the program to facilitate and speed up translation to other devices.

Privacy-preserving machine Learning: technology development and adoption

Enterprises offer machine learning services to improve their business and provide ready-made intelligence for end-user applications. However, there is an increasingly striking discordance between its rapid growth and renewed awareness of privacy protection in this era of intelligence.

This program aims to nurture the next generation workforce in the field of Privacy-preserving Machine Learning (PPML). We plan to explore emerging privacy-enhancing techniques for realising PPML systems, secure both end-user data and machine learning models under real-world challenges, and adopt PPML systems to Australian prioritised industry sectors. The outcome expects to pave a lane towards broad market adoption of PPML to make it an integral part of the next generation Australian digital economy and society.

Creating the next generation of quantum technology specialists

Quantum technologies offer great opportunities across the economy, and possible threats should Australia inadequately invest in its development.

This program will provide the framework to holistically develop the quantum technology industry: from hardware and software to responsible innovation. Bringing together a world-renowned team of researchers and a range of industry collaborators, graduates will engage in building a robust, diverse quantum workforce that meets industry needs.

Towards AI on the edge: Developing data-efficient machine learning models for multimodal sensing devices and IoT

The program aims to advance novel data-efficient machine learning techniques for modelling sensor data obtained by resource-constrained devices, such as microcontrollers, wearables, mobile devices, and the internet of things (IoT).

This program seeks to enable modelling of human behaviours more efficiently at the edge, with little or no labelled data. It expects to make major breakthroughs in the modelling of human behaviour through a generalised representation learning techniques for different downstream tasks and domains, including transportation and mobility, building construction and management, agriculture and mining, and health and productivity.

All system analysis–analytics and intelligent automation

The aim of this program is to develop an ‘all system analysis’ program that provides post-graduate students with an authentic learning experience. By adopting the cohort-based approach to solving real-world engineering problems, thereby enabling them to develop key transferrable skills necessary for future employment.

Artificial Intelligence of Things for resilient and sustainable smart cities

This program aims to research, develop and deliver novel Internet of Things (IoT) platforms and solutions that will allow for massive connectivity of sensors, intelligent processing of data, and AIoT infrastructure support to optimise city functions and drive economic growth while improving the quality of life for its citizens.

Want to join us?

Check out our website for the latest information about the above projects and the student recruitment process.

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